It is supposed to say “Rain or shine,” right? I set out a mildly ambitious goal to ride 1000 miles in the six weeks prior to the pilgrimage in preparation for the trip. In order to start and finish the trip in the ten weeks I have available I need to ride about 65-70 miles a day, 6 days a week.
I know two things about my body and my will. The first is that 65-70 miles a day is not overly ambitious for me given my years of cycling. The second thing I know is that I can’t just simply start riding that many miles without having trained and worked up to it. I was “supposed” to be at 500 miles today, but I have only ridden 360 miles.
The problem is this–It’s still raining here in Portland, OR. I have learned to describe myself as an “avid fair-weather cyclist.” I am more of a “shine or shine” cyclist. Once the sun comes out I get itchy to get on the bike daily and I get frustrated when meetings keep me from touching the saddle on a warm, sunny NW day. But, until that happens I can barely force myself to get on the bike when the sky is gray, the rain is falling in a consistent drizzle, and my mood is as dark as the sky.
Today is one of those days. Yesterday was perfect. Clear and sunny. High of 73. Today is drizzly and wet. Cold. Yuck. So, I will be heading off to the gym where I’ll swim a mile or so just to keep the heart pumping and not lose too much momentum. It’s not cycling, but it’s something.
I suppose you might not care about all of this, but I write it because I am learning something about myself in this process. I find riding in the sun, cutting through farmland and soaking in the odors of flowers and countryside to be wonderfully relaxing and nourishing. I want more of that. I want it now! I should be training for this pilgrimage, but I find that what I really want is to nourish my soul. I can’t even seem to put that off another day for purpose of training for “nourishing my soul.” So, I am off to the pool where I will dive into the warm, salty water and let it caress and soothe me. And hopefully, I’ll get just enough of a workout that Day One of the pilgrimage doesn’t hit me like a Mack Truck!